European small and medium-sized enterprises were severely hit by the international crisis of 2008 and export activity – as a form of internationalisation – was an important component of the recovery. This paper concentrates on the post-crisis period of the Iberian, Baltic and Visegrád countries. As for born global firms have spread and these countries are strongly involved in global production networks, the theory of international new ventures and the network approach can especially be appropriate for them. The significance of SMEs in employment, value added and export and their pace of recovery is different in the three regions. Apart from the structural rearrangements in exporting enterprises, the geographical direction of exports has also changed temporarily towards non-EU markets after the crisis. Based on existing enterprise surveys the second part of the article focuses on the export enhancing and hindering factors in the post-crisis period. Overall, product features and manager attitude proved to be the most important in export competitiveness. Lack of finance and contacts, strong foreign competition and high market entry costs are the leading export barriers for SMEs.